Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Tech Tip
by Brad Appleby
Appleby Arts

Solid State Hard Drives

A solid state drive (SSD) is a data storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data. Your old standard hard drive uses moving parts and stores data on a magnetic disk. The disk spins around and a little arm moves in and out to get and save data. The SSD has no moving parts so there is less chance for failure.  It also is the same size as a standard hard drive so that replacement is easy. The SSD is all memory so it is very fast. With Windows 7 and an SSD, the computer boots up in only a few seconds from the time you turn the power on. I was surprised at how much faster it is at booting and working. Working with photos and videos is no longer a waiting game.

Should you defrag an SSD? NO! The defrag of a standard hard drive is required to make the drive run faster. This is not required with the SSD. In fact, if you do a defrag you might actually reduce the life of your drive. If you are in the market for a new SSD, make sure it is TRIM command supported. This will help reduce the number of writes/deletions and extend the life of your SSD.

Windows 7 supports the TRIM command. Older versions of Windows like XP and Vista do not support it, so you should turn off Disk Defragmenter if you have an SSD installed.

Buying a used SSD requires a little homework. You should run an SSD health tool such as CrystalDiskInfo.  This will tell you how many write cycles (health%) the SSD has left. You could buy a used SSD that is only 1 month old, but because of abuse has only 10% life left on it.

Make sure to get a warranty with your SSD so you can replace it if it goes bad. Remember to always back up your data on a removable USB drive or CD/DVD so that you will be able to recover from any hard drive failure or virus attack. As more people use the SSD the price should come down and the storage level should increase. I use an SSD in a DELL laptop and it is working great. Remember that putting in an SSD will not help with slow internet speed. Most SSD drives come with software to copy your old hard drive on to the new SSD.

For more information about this and other Tech Tip articles, please contact Brad at
(702) 294-1392 or visit his web site at

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